He should have known that the day was doomed from the moment he woke to see his alarm clock in pieces on the floor by his bed, the cat grinning at him from the place where the clock had always sat.
Finally arriving at the office, he was no sooner at his desk when the fire alarm bell rang. Within moments of reentering after the all clear, it rang again, and his own, very private Chinese fire drill was under way.
The day calmed until, after lunch, the Regional Manager arrived, gathered everyone at the great round conference table, and demanded to know who had made a simple error, and watched as the inevitable circular firing squad began.
The path meandered more than he remembered but he was the first to admit his memory was never his strongest suit. It didn’t help that he had consumed two margaritas at lunch, and even he didn’t believe the excuse that this was a slow day for him, still sober at two in the afternoon. But he wandered the path, for that is what paths were there for he was certain. He had no idea where he was going, and realized that he would have no idea when he got there. Still he had great faith in mathematics, that was his training, his brilliance,such as it was, and he knew that if he merely wandered aimlessly without thinking, he would eventually cross his own path, bump into his former self and they, together, could devise a plan to find their way precisely they were intended to be.
He started digging early in the morning, and hoped that by lunch, he’d be well on his way there, though he wasn’t certain how he’d get up out of the hole when lunch rolled around, but need is a good instructor, so he was sure he could figure it out easily enough. It was slower going than he imagined, slower by several magnitudes. He knew that would play havoc with his plans, but he was capable of adjusting to circumstances, that was one of his strengths, he knew. When the day receded, he set the shovel aside and retreated home, knowing that he wouldn’t complete the task for at least another week, and the idea of having real Chinese food in China would have to wait, since he had to be in school every day or miss out on the First Grade perfect attendance award.
He drops suddenly from a branch of a tree which you don’t see for all of the others. He lands a foot from you, you pause suddenly and he looks up at you, trying to determine if you are friend, foe, or lunch. He concludes you are not lunch and scurries off under a nearby bush on the edge of the pond where the rocks will provide the sun for an afternoon nap. You gather your wits and thoughts, knowing you will retell this story, but for him, it is just another day it the life of your average iguana.